ST. LOUIS – Saint Louis University softball placed 16 student-athletes on the 2015-16 All-America Scholar-Athlete list compiled by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. The award is bestowed upon players who achieve at least a 3.5 grade point average during an entire academic year.
In the NFCA’s 2015-16 team rankings released earlier this month, Saint Louis finished third in the nation with a 3.641 composite GPA.
The Billikens’ All-America Scholar-Athletes are Madeline Brungardt, Emma Buckles, Miranda Cotton, Brittany Durant, Elizabeth Everingham, Krystina Kernich, Laney Kneib, Josie Knesel, Mackenzie Lawson, Brianna Lore, Kallen Loveless, Allie Macfarlane, Alex Nickel, Mackenzie Peter, Hailey Weavers and Macie Wheeler. Brungardt, Cotton, Durant, Everingham, Kneib, Knesel, Lore, Nickel, Peter and Weavers earned All-America Scholar-Athlete recognition for a second time.
With its 16 honorees, Saint Louis easily led the Atlantic 10 Conference and finished second in the nation. SLU trailed only Grand Canyon, which placed 17 student-athletes on the list.
The All-America Scholar-Athlete announcement caps a remarkably successful academic year for Billiken softball. Lore was SLU’s recipient of the A-10 Postgraduate Scholarship, while Everingham and Peter were selected to the 12-player A-10 softball All-Academic team. Saint Louis has had two student-athletes earn All-Academic plaudits seven times in 11 years of A-10 membership, including three straight and five of the past six seasons.“It’s an exceptional accomplishment to have 80 percent of our team reach this level of academic achievement,” head coach Christy Connoyer said. “Our student-athletes are more proud of the team GPA ranking than they are of their individual awards, but each one of them has earned the respect of the coaching staff, support staff and administration for their dedication and hard work in the classroom. They deserve this recognition for their part in contributing to a well-rounded program that emphasizes education, competition and building community.”